Fascinating History of Selsi Binoculars – Remarkable Legacy!

By Richard

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Selsi binoculars have been a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts for decades. With a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, these binoculars have stood the test of time and continue to be a reliable option for a variety of outdoor activities. 

But, you won’t see new Selsi binoculars now, their manufacturing has been stopped as the company went bankrupt. In this article, I will explore the history of Selsi binoculars, including how they came to be and how they have evolved over the years. 

Point: You can still see Selsi binoculars in the exhibition as a memory of the past. Many people keep them as a collective in their cabin to have some association with the past. They’re not being manufactured anymore.

Related Article: Can You Use Binoculars with Glasses

History of Selsi Binoculars

I’ve seen a Selsi binocular in an exhibition that happened back in 2020. However, those people who have used them to some extent do appreciate the high quality of these binoculars. I have done research to give you in-depth information about the history of this optical company.

Early Years of Selsi Optical Company

This optical company was founded by Samuel Selsi who was shifted from Poland to New York. Initially, he had no interest in optics; instead, he found his career in watchmaking. In fact, he had very good knowledge of watches.

But, with the passage of time, things did change and his interest in optics grew. Soon, he started learning about optics and he manufactured many optical components. After that, he found that a career in the optics field can be more beneficial.

So, in the 1920s, he founded his own optical company named ‘‘Selsi Optical Company’’ in New York and started producing binoculars for local customers. Due to high quality, Selsi binoculars started getting good attention among the customers.

Interesting Point: In 1930, the company was considered well-established and they were producing binoculars on a large scale.

World War II and Post-War Growth

Selsi Optical Company saw a boom in sales during World War II when the US military booked bulk orders from the company. At that time, the company already had a good name in the industry. But association with the US military further lifted the trust and credibility of people on Selsi binoculars.

This was the time when the Selsi optical company saw a boost in its revenue as well. As the profit increased, it gave the founder a kind of leverage to experiment and do something extraordinary. When World war II ended, the company was at the peak of its success, leaving behind all its competitors.

Porro Prism Era of Selsi Optical Company

In the 1950s, the company started producing binoculars with a Porro prism design which uplifted the standard and acceptability of already good-selling binoculars for Selsi optical company. People from the optics industry did appreciate the usage of porro prism as there were no other optics at that time with porro prism.

Due to an increase in demand, and seeing good names in the market, the founder decided to introduce other products in the market like telescopes and spotting scopes. In the 1960s, these newly introduced optical products also made a good reputation in the industry as the competition at that time was comparatively low.

Decline and Legacy

The Selsi optical company had a good base in the United States and they had a stronghold in the US market. In the 1970s, Japanese manufacturers started coming into the US market and offering products at more affordable and lower prices.

In this case, Selsi products were getting less acceptable due to their higher prices as the same quality from Japanese brands was provided at a lower cost. The reason behind the lower price of Japanese products was the low labor cost of the Japanese market.

Almost all the Japanese brands used to manufacture binoculars in Japan at less labor cost and then they exported them into the US market to get the lower price advantages. The selsi binoculars suffered this heavily. 

In the mid-1970s, the sale of Selsi binoculars dropped significantly and the company fell to bankruptcy. However, the high quality of Selsi binoculars still freshens up the memory of old optics users. There is no doubt that the legacy of Selsi binoculars lives on

Note: As Selsi binoculars had high quality, the prices of these binoculars were also high which gave Japanese products a space to dominate the market with their lower-cost binoculars.


Although the company went bankrupt, the quality of its products is still alive in the people who have used their binoculars. You’ll see Selsi binoculars now in the exhibitions or in the cabin of hobbyists who love collecting old products. I hope that this guide will give you in-depth knowledge about the history of Selsi binoculars.

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